MONTREAL – Montreal Impact fans have seen the real-life version of the Ignacio Piatti YouTube highlights.
The new Impact DP was irresistible on Saturday night, scoring the two goals in Montreal’s 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew. With his skillful display, Piatti no doubt lived up to the internet-generated hype.
There was one difference between the virtual and the real-life Piatti on Saturday night, though. Most highlights videos feature him starting from the left side cutting in. Montreal head coach Frank Klopas had seen as much, but he has started playing Piatti centrally, behind Marco Di Vaio.
“He has a free role,” Klopas said of Piatti in his postgame conference. “He can find areas and pockets where we can get the ball and between the backline and the midfield. He’s very dangerous off the dribble, finding the through ball, the passes, and his ability to finish. He can play both areas, but I like him a little bit more underneath, just for the fact that we can save the energy, that he adds a lot more going forward.”
“I know that both [Waylon] Francis and [Eric] Gehrig get forward a lot and I wanted to make sure that we try to rest him – well, he had to work, but he doesn’t have to do as much of the defensive work and have energy when we get the ball to give us a lot going forward, it was key,” Klopas said.
Piatti, who says he’s already started to adapt to – cliché alert – MLS’ physicality, is comfortable with his repositioning.
“Yeah, I like playing there because I'm closer to goal,” Piatti said. “I like that, I like scoring goals. I like the position. But it’s up to the coach. If I have to play on the left, I’ll do it, no problem.”
And if the Montreal fans were impressed with Piatti's heroics, the Montreal players were just as well. Matteo Ferrari couldn’t help but smile a mischievous grin as he described his new teammate’s contribution.
“Ignacio, Ignacio… What do you want me to say?” Ferrari said “This guy, first of all, is a good guy. For me, that’s the best thing. Then, on the field, he’s great, great with the ball at his feet, he can make unbelievable assists, he can score, he can run, he can dribble. He’s the type of player that we were looking for, so we’re really happy that he’s playing with us right now.”